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RECOMMENDATION White Hart, Duffield, Derbyshire

By Molly Scott – 4th October 2020
main courses at the White Hart
What I loved about the White Hart:

I’ve been coming to the White Hart on and off for about a decade. It was a regular haunt when I lived in nearby Belper and we recently returned for a birthday lunch to check it was every bit as good as I remember. After three wonderful courses, served by helpful, attentive staff in cosy, chic surroundings, I feel more than confident recommending it to our discerning Girl About readers.

 

Worth paying a babysitter?

Yes! There is a children’s menu and you could take your children, but I prefer to keep places like this for more civilised occasions.

 

Expect:

A beautiful old building, complete with stained glass windows which has been lovingly decorated in a quirky, chic, contemporary style. Most of the pub feels really cosy without being at all old-fashioned or stuffy. The White Hart is situated on the high street in Duffield, and there’s a car park to the rear of the pub, pretty well hidden from the ample beer garden.

If you’ve been to Seven at Pride Park it’s owned by the same people so the menu is pretty much the same, except the White Hart also serve beautiful sour dough pizzas but no breakfast options. Whereas Seven do offer a breakfast service including their popular champagne breakfast for a real treat.

 

Value for money: 10 out of 10

We paid just over sixty pounds for three courses each, including a steak and an extra side dish, and three drinks (including a cocktail and a large glass of wine) which is probably pretty standard for a nice gastro pub in Derbyshire.

For a real bargain, they do an exceptionally well priced set menu all days Monday to Wednesday throughout October. It’s pretty much half price, so two courses are £11.50 and three courses are £13.95. Options are limited but include most of my favourites including the creme brûlée. See the full set menu here. 

The details:

We visited on a rainy Saturday lunchtime and were warmly greeted and seated at a lovely big table in the bay window. A drinks order was promptly taken. Having perused the menu at length beforehand, I knew I wanted the ‘blackberry passion’ from the seasonal aperitifs menu. This was an expert blend of crème de mure, gin, lemon and prosecco, and priced at less than a fiver. Delicious!

To start I ordered the honey roast goats cheese. I regularly choose similar  starter dishes but this was an exceptionally good one. Probably the best dish I have eaten anywhere recently. A generous slice of grilled goats cheese was served with rainbow coloured beetroot and caramelised walnuts. It was honestly exquisite and I would go back on the strength of that one dish alone. My husband was happy with his choice of homemade duck spring rolls with plum sauce.

For main course I ordered the chicken Caesar salad. The star of this dish was the slices of buttermilk fried chicken which were just divine. I also treated myself to a portion of the ‘posh’ chips. Personally I felt they would have benefitted from more heavy handed sloshes of parmesan and truffle oil, but the chips themselves were good. Not at all greasy, but full of fluffy potato. My husband ordered the rump steak with a generous portion of garlic butter which looked wonderful.

We really should have stopped there, but being bad influences on each other, we continued to the dessert menu. Although dessert is probably one of my most favourite things in life, I find the older I get the pickier I am about what actually appeals to me on a dessert menu. However, this was a really good dessert menu! There were four choices I could have merrily ordered, but plumped for one of my all time favourites, a creme brûlée. This was served in a very much no frills fashion, just a massive pot of delicious vanilla custard and a satisfyingly crisp layer of burnt sugar. I guess when something is really, really good you don’t need to mess about with distracting accompaniments. My husband had the caramelised lemon tart which was wonderfully complimented with blackcurrant sorbet. Next time I’ve got my eye on the sticky toffee pudding or the mixed berry Eton mess which is topped with crushed pistachios.

The service was excellent throughout. Prompt, helpful and attentive without being intrusive. A special mention goes to Fran who was particularly helpful (and tolerant of my whims). The White Hart also did a wonderful job of meeting all the current safety requirements whilst still maintaining a beautifully relaxed environment.

All in all, a lovely meal, and a wonderful final birthday celebration. We left, pleasantly stuffed, and returned home to drink champagne and snuggle under the blanket watching ‘The Fall’. A perfectly chilled, childfree weekend. My little girl has also been living her best life, soaking up the extra attention on her sleepover at her grandparents. As I finish typing this up, they are on their way back here to drop her off. I can’t wait to see her again but by God I have enjoyed having a rest! Thank you to the White Hart for being the cherry on top of a lovely weekend.

 

 

For more information visit: www.whitehartduffield.co.uk

Enjoy!

 

Molly x

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by us. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

 

Molly Scott Derbyshire
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